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CLEVELAND, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- While Washington wrangles over replacing the Affordable Care Act, middle market business leaders, faced with retaining and attracting employees in a tightening labor market, favor retaining several aspects of ACA that might be eliminated through healthcare reform.
According to the recent KeyBank Middle Market Business Sentiment survey, retaining coverage for pre-existing conditions is the most vital feature for successful long-term healthcare plan reform. More than 90 percent of those surveyed identified pre-existing coverage as being a somewhat or extremely important factor in long-term healthcare plan reform.
Second on that list of "must haves" is eliminating annual or lifetime limits on most health plan coverages, followed by requiring insurance plans to provide at least essential health benefits for 10 specific health categories and expanding preventive benefits offered via Medicare.
Eighty-four percent of those surveyed consider eliminating annual or lifetime limits on most health plans coverages to be somewhat or extremely important, while 82 percent consider essential health benefit provisions and expanded Medicare preventive coverage to be somewhat or extremely important.
"Employers know what matters most for their people, so it's not surprising to see pre-existing conditions and the other factors characterized as essential elements for long term success," said Jim Fasone, national healthcare practice leader for Key Insurance & Benefits, Inc.
"Regardless what happens to the law, we're looking for businesses to shift even more focus on maintaining strong employee benefit programs. While healthcare reform remains on the horizon, business leaders are putting themselves in a better position to manage change and the risks change to their employee benefits," Fasone said.
KeyBank surveyed 300 middle market business leaders in early June. At that time, healthcare reform focused on differences between ACA and the American Health Care Act. At that time, 42 percent of the middle market leaders surveyed indicated they strongly approve/approve of the proposed plan, and 41 percent indicated they strongly disapprove/disapprove the proposed plan.
But middle market leaders surveyed are united on one front – retaining and attracting top talent. According to survey results, those middle market business leaders looking to expand operations will do so by adding employees rather than acquiring other businesses, adding facilities or buying equipment.
"Middle market business leaders are caught in a squeeze play between employee priorities, healthcare costs and regulatory uncertainty," said Fasone said. "But you can't manage your business through market swings. You have to manage your business through constant risk mitigation strategies, regardless of the final outcome of this legislation."
For example, Fasone said, research shows workplace financial wellness programs are gaining currency with employers who see the connection between employee job performance and personal finance issues. Money worries can affect worker productivity, attendance and physical health.
This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. Please consult with legal, tax and/or financial advisors. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.
About KeyCorp: KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $134.5 billion at March 31, 2017. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, insurance, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications, and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.
About KIBKey Insurance & Benefits Services, Inc. offers commercial insurance, captive insurance, employee benefits, personal insurance and third-party administration services. KIB professionals partner with clients to create customized risk solutions that reduce loss and financial risk and improve clients' bottom line. KIB operates in seven offices in Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania.
Insurance services, benefits consulting services and insurance products are offered through Key Insurance & Benefits Services, Inc. ("KIB"), which is a licensed insurance broker and agent. Insurance policies are obligations of the insurers that issue the policies. Insurance products may not be available in all states. KIB and KeyBank are separate entities, and when you purchase risk management services, business consulting services or insurance products you are doing business with KIB, and not KeyBank.
Insurance Products offered are: Not FDIC-insured; not a deposit in, obligation of, nor insured by any federal government agency; not guaranteed or underwritten by the bank; not a condition to the provisions or terms of any banking service or activity.
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